Just wait­ing for the pen­guins

Annapolis Valley Register - - X -

“So how do you like your snow­blower now?” asked a friend af­ter last week’s bliz­zards. Of course, I had changed my mind.

The snow­blower ar­rived in our yard about 18 months ao, in prepa­ra­tion for win­ter 2016, which we were afraid – very afraid – would be of sim­i­lar pro­por­tions to the win­ter of 2015. We made room for it in the shed, got a gas jug and filled it up and or­ga­nized an ex­ten­sion cord near the back door so we could use the elec­tronic start. As you know, there weren’t more than three op­por­tu­ni­ties to use it in the win­ter of 2016.

Last fall, there were dire pre­dic­tions of heavy snow for this win­ter. There’s a rea­son why we sea­son such pre­dic­tions with a grain of salt; we feel there isn’t much rea­son to have faith in them. Oh, we had some fairly early snow in De­cem­ber but then the weather warmed up again. I’ve lost track of how many times this hap­pened so far but what it has meant, in snow re­moval terms, was that we’ve used a broom to deal with most of it and scraped the drive­way with the shovel. The one time when I had to dig a path to the shed to get the snow­blower out, it seemed like a lot of work for not much re­sult.

So when my friend asked me in Jan­uary how I liked the snow­blower, I was full of com­plaints.

I re­mem­ber, as a child, learn­ing to read. I was so de­lighted. It meant, since I could read di­rec­tions, I could do any­thing! This is good be­cause my mem­ory is only as good as the pa­per it’s writ­ten on. As the snow­blower hadn’t been used for many months, the first ne­ces­sity was to find the man­ual.

Thank good­ness the mon­ster squat­ted in readi­ness in the shed, al­ready gassed and oiled up. All I had to do was clear a path to the shed and un­coil the ex­ten­sion cord. What I didn’t re­al­ize was that I also had to wres­tle the thing out­side into the light so I could see where and how to at­tach the ex­ten­sion cord. The next step in the process (there seem to be about a dozen steps) is to slide the choke lever, fol­lowed by some things I don’t fully un­der­stand and fi­nally shove the primer but­ton a few times, press the starter and brace for the racket.

Af­ter all that, it seemed that snow­blow­ing the drive­way was all but a wasted ef­fort. I still had to scrape over it with a shovel be­cause the ma­chine leaves an inch or two of snow on the ground, just enough to turn into ice af­ter a sunny day.

How­ever, let me just say, friend, af­ter the first three-foot drift that de­cided to curl up in the drive­way, and the four-by-four-foot wall the snow plow de­posited just af­ter I fin­ished clear­ing the first – not to men­tion the gi­ant block­ing the way to the oil tank, I adore the snow­blower!

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